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Book of Jasher 12



Book of Jasher 12

Chapter 12

 

1.                 
And when the king heard the words of
Abram he ordered him to be put into prison; and Abram was ten days in prison.

2.                 
And at the end of those days the king
ordered that all the kings, princes and governors of different provinces and
the sages should come before him, and they sat before him, and Abram was still
in the house of confinement.

3.                 
And the king said to the princes and
sages, Have you heard what Abram, the son of Terah,
has done to his father? Thus has he done to him, and I ordered him to be
brought before me, and thus has he spoken; his heart did not misgive him, neither did he stir in my presence, and behold
now he is confined in the prison.

4.                 
And therefore decide what judgment is
due to this man who reviled the king; who spoke and did all the things that you
heard.

5.                 
And they all answered the king
saying, The man who revileth the king should be
hanged upon a tree; but having done all the things that he said, and having
despised our gods, he must therefore be burned to death, for this is the law in
this matter.

6.                 
If it pleaseth
the king to do this, let him order his servants to kindle a fire both night and
day in thy brick furnace, and then we will cast this man into it. And the king
did so, and he commanded his servants that they should prepare a fire for three
days and three nights in the king’s furnace, that is in Casdim;
and the king ordered them to take Abram from prison and bring him out to be
burned.

7.                 
And all the king’s servants, princes,
lords, governors, and judges, and all the inhabitants of the land, about nine
hundred thousand men, stood opposite the furnace to see Abram.

8.                 
And all the women and little ones
crowded upon the roofs and towers to see what was doing with Abram, and they
all stood together at a distance; and there was not a man left that did not
come on that day to behold the scene.

9.                 
And when Abram was come, the
conjurors of the king and the sages saw Abram, and they cried out to the king,
saying, Our sovereign lord, surely this is the man whom we know to have been
the child at whose birth the great star swallowed the four stars, which we
declared to the king now fifty years since.

10.            
And behold now his father has also
transgressed thy commands, and mocked thee by bringing thee another child,
which thou didst kill.

11.            
And when the king heard their words,
he was exceedingly wroth, and he ordered Terah to be
brought before him.

12.            
And the king said, Hast thou heard
what the conjurors have spoken? Now tell me truly, how didst thou; and if thou shalt speak truth thou shalt be
acquitted.

13.            
And seeing that the king’s anger was
so much kindled, Terah said to the king, My lord and
king, thou hast heard the truth, and what the sages have spoken is right. And
the king said, How couldst thou do this thing, to transgress my orders and to
give me a child that thou didst not beget, and to take value for him?

14.            
And Terah
answered the king, Because my tender feelings were excited for my son, at that
time, and I took a son of my handmaid, and I brought him to the king.

15.            
And the king said Who advised thee to
this? Tell me, do not hide aught from me, and then thou shalt
not die.

16.            
And Terah
was greatly terrified in the king’s presence, and he said to the king, It was Haran my eldest son who advised me to this; and Haran was in those days that Abram was born, two and thirty
years old.

17.            
But Haran
did not advise his father to anything, for Terah said
this to the king in order to deliver his soul from the king, for he feared
greatly; and the king said to Terah, Haran thy son who advised thee to this shall die through
fire with Abram; for the sentence of death is upon him for having rebelled
against the king’s desire in doing this thing.

18.            
And Haran at that time
felt inclined to follow the ways of Abram, but he kept it within himself.

19.            
And Haran said in his
heart, Behold now the king has seized Abram on account of these things which
Abram did, and it shall come to pass, that if Abram prevail over the king I
will follow him, but if the king prevail I will go after the king.

20.            
And when Terah
had spoken this to the king concerning
Haran his son, the
king ordered
Haran to be seized
with Abram.

21.            
And they brought them both, Abram and
Haran his brother,
to cast them into the fire; and all the inhabitants of the land and the king’s
servants and princes and all the women and little ones were there, standing
that day over them.

22.            
And the king’s servants took Abram
and his brother, and they stripped them of all their clothes excepting their
lower garments which were upon them.

23.            
And they bound their hands and feet
with linen cords, and the servants of the king lifted them up and cast them
both into the furnace.

24.            
And the Lord loved Abram and he had
compassion over him, and the Lord came down and delivered Abram from the fire
and he was not burned.

25.            
But all the cords with which they
bound him were burned, while Abram remained and walked about in the fire.

26.            
And Haran died when
they had cast him into the fire, and he was burned to ashes, for his heart was
not perfect with the Lord; and those men who cast him into the fire, the flame
of the fire spread over them, and they were burned, and twelve men of them
died.

27.            
And Abram walked in the midst of the
fire three days and three nights, and all the servants of the king saw him
walking in the fire, and they came and told the king, saying, Behold we have
seen Abram walking about in the midst of the fire, and even the lower garments
which are upon him are not burned, but the cord with which he was bound is
burned.

28.            
And when the king heard their words
his heart fainted and he would not believe them; so he sent other faithful
princes to see this matter, and they went and saw it and told it to the king;
and the king rose to go and see it, and he saw Abram walking to and fro in the
midst of the fire, and he saw Haran’s body burned,
and the king wondered greatly.

29.            
And the king ordered Abram to be
taken out from the fire; and his servants approached to take him out and they
could not, for the fire was round about and the flame ascending toward them
from the furnace.

30.            
And the king’s servants fled from it,
and the king rebuked them, saying, Make haste and bring Abram out of the fire
that you shall not die.

31.            
And the servants of the king again approached
to bring Abram out, and the flames came upon them and burned their faces so
that eight of them died.

32.            
And when the king saw that his
servants could not approach the fire lest they should be burned, the king
called to Abram, O servant of the God who is in heaven, go forth from amidst
the fire and come hither before me; and Abram hearkened to the voice of the
king, and he went forth from the fire and came and stood before the king.

33.            
And when Abram came out the king and
all his servants saw Abram coming before the king, with his lower garments upon
him, for they were not burned, but the cord with which he was bound was burned.

34.            
And the king said to Abram, How is it
that thou wast not burned in the fire?

35.            
And Abram said to the king, The God
of heaven and earth in whom I trust and who has all in his power, he delivered
me from the fire into which thou didst cast me.

36.            
And Haran the brother
of Abram was burned to ashes, and they sought for his body, and they found it
consumed.

37.            
And Haran was
eighty-two years old when he died in the fire of Casdim.
And the king, princes, and inhabitants of the land, seeing that Abram was
delivered from the fire, they came and bowed down to Abram.

38.            
And Abram said to them, Do not bow
down to me, but bow down to the God of the world who made you, and serve him,
and go in his ways for it is he who delivered me from out of this fire, and it
is he who created the souls and spirits of all men, and formed man in his
mother’s womb, and brought him forth into the world, and it is he who will deliver
those who trust in him from all pain.

39.            
And this thing seemed very wonderful
in the eyes of the king and princes, that Abram was saved from the fire and
that Haran was burned; and the king gave Abram many
presents and he gave him his two head servants from the king’s house; the name
of one was Oni and the name of the other was Eliezer.

40.            
And all the kings, princes and
servants gave Abram many gifts of silver and gold and pearl, and the king and
his princes sent him away, and he went in peace.

41.            
And Abram went forth from the king in
peace, and many of the king’s servants followed him, and about three hundred
men joined him.

42.            
And Abram returned on that day and
went to his father’s house, he and the men that followed him, and Abram served
the Lord his God all the days of his life, and he walked in his ways and
followed his law.

43.            
And from that day forward Abram
inclined the hearts of the sons of men to serve the Lord.

44.            
And at that time Nahor
and Abram took unto themselves wives, the daughters of their brother
Haran; the wife of
Nahor was Milca and the
name of Abram’s wife was Sarai. And Sarai, wife of Abram, was barren; she had no offspring in
those days.

45.            
And at the expiration of two years
from Abram’s going out of the fire, that is in the fifty-second year of his
life, behold king Nimrod sat in Babel upon the throne, and the king fell asleep
and dreamed that he was standing with his troops and hosts in a valley opposite
the king’s furnace.

46.            
And he lifted up his eyes and saw a
man in the likeness of Abram coming forth from the furnace, and that he came
and stood before the king with his drawn sword, and then sprang to the king
with his sword, when the king fled from the man, for he was afraid; and while
he was running, the man threw an egg upon the king’s head, and the egg became a
great river.

47.            
And the king dreamed that all his
troops sank in that river and died, and the king took flight with three men who
were before him and he escaped.

48.            
And the king looked at these men and
they were clothed in princely dresses as the garments of kings, and had the
appearance and majesty of kings.

49.            
And while they were running, the
river again turned to an egg before the king, and there came forth from the egg
a young bird which came before the king, and flew at his head and plucked out
the king’s eye.

50.            
And the king was grieved at the
sight, and he awoke out of his sleep and his spirit was agitated; and he felt a
great terror.

51.            
And in the morning the king rose from
his couch in fear, and he ordered all the wise men and magicians to come before
him, when the king related his dream to them.

52.            
And a wise servant of the king, whose
name was Anuki, answered the king, saying, This is
nothing else but the evil of Abram and his seed which will spring up against my
Lord and king in the latter days.

53.            
And behold the day will come when
Abram and his seed and the children of his household will war with my king, and
they will smite all the king’s hosts and his troops.

54.            
And as to what thou hast said
concerning three men which thou didst see like unto thyself, and which did
escape, this means that only thou wilt escape with three kings from the kings
of the earth who will be with thee in battle.

55.            
And that which thou sawest of the river which turned to an egg as at first, and
the young bird plucking out thine eye, this means
nothing else but the seed of Abram which will slay the king in latter days.

56.            
This is my king’s dream, and this is
its interpretation, and the dream is true, and the interpretation which thy
servant has given thee is right.

57.            
Now therefore my king, surely thou knowest that it is now fifty-two years since thy sages saw
this at the birth of Abram, and if my king will suffer Abram to live in the
earth it will be to the injury of my lord and king, for all the days that Abram
liveth neither thou nor thy kingdom will be
established, for this was known formerly at his birth; and why will not my king
slay him, that his evil may be kept from thee in latter days?

58.            
And Nimrod hearkened to the voice of Anuki, and he sent some of his servants in secret to go and
seize Abram, and bring him before the king to suffer death.

59.            
And Eliezer,
Abram’s servant whom the king had given him, was at that time in the presence
of the king, and he heard what Anuki had advised the
king, and what the king had said to cause Abram’s death.

60.            
And Eliezer
said to Abram, Hasten, rise up and save thy soul, that thou mayest
not die through the hands of the king, for thus did he see in a dream
concerning thee, and thus did Anuki interpret it, and
thus also did Anuki advise the king concerning thee.

61.            
And Abram hearkened to the voice of Eliezer, and Abram hastened and ran for safety to the house
of Noah and his son Shem, and he concealed himself there and found a place of
safety; and the king’s servants came to Abram’s house to seek him, but they
could not find him, and they searched through out the country and he was not to
be found, and they went and searched in every direction and he was not to be
met with.

62.            
And when the king’s servants could
not find Abram they returned to the king, but the king’s anger against Abram
was stilled, as they did not find him, and the king drove from his mind this
matter concerning Abram.

63.            
And Abram was concealed in Noah’s
house for one month, until the king had forgotten this matter, but Abram was
still afraid of the king; and Terah came to see Abram
his son secretly in the house of Noah, and Terah was
very great in the eyes of the king.

64.            
And Abram said to his father, Dost
thou not know that the king thinketh to slay me, and
to annihilate my name from the earth by the advice of his wicked counsellors?

65.            
Now whom hast thou here and what hast
thou in this land? Arise, let us go together to the
land of Canaan, that we may
be delivered from his hand, lest thou perish also through him in the latter
days.

66.            
Dost thou not know or hast thou not
heard, that it is not through love that Nimrod giveth
thee all this honor, but it is only for his benefit that he bestoweth
all this good upon thee?

67.            
And if he do unto thee greater good
than this, surely these are only vanities of the world, for wealth and riches
cannot avail in the day of wrath and anger.

68.            
Now therefore hearken to my voice,
and let us arise and go to the land of Canaan, out of the reach of injury from Nimrod;
and serve thou the Lord who created thee in the earth and it will be well with
thee; and cast away all the vain things which thou pursuest.

69.            
And Abram ceased to speak, when Noah
and his son Shem answered Terah, saying, True is the
word which Abram hath said unto thee.

70.            
And Terah
hearkened to the voice of his son Abram, and Terah
did all that Abram said, for this was from the Lord, that the king should not
cause Abram’s death.

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